Varsity Football

Maize defense handles Campus and hasn’t allowed a point in 2018

The Maize defense got about 10 sacks Friday night in the Eagles 21-0 over Campus. (Sept. 14, 2018)
The Maize defense got about 10 sacks Friday night in the Eagles 21-0 over Campus. (Sept. 14, 2018) The Wichita Eagle

They weren’t surprised.

Maize beat Campus 21-0 on Friday night on the road. The Eagles’ defense finished with close to 10 sacks and extended its scoreless streak to 12 quarters. But junior defensive lineman Keaton Robertson said it was just business.

“We just do what we do,” he said. “It’s bag talk. We’re just getting that money. We hustle, and it’s just what we do.”

Campus was in the red zone late in the third quarter trailing by only a couple of scores, but on third down, senior defensive end Noah Stanton busted through the line again and got to Campus quarterback Evan Kruse before Kruse could even look down field.

With the way the Eagles were getting in the backfield, the defense had engulfed any realistic chance at a comeback.

Late in the fourth quarter, Campus senior Quinton Hicks busted for close to a 40-yard gain. It was the Colts’ biggest play Friday. A play later, 5-foot-5 senior cornerback Jose Ledesma had the ball going the other way. It started with a strong pass rush.

“It’s about doing our job and having fun,” Stanton said. “It’s about the 11 guys on the field and working as a team. That showed.”

The Maize defensive line is deep and incredibly versatile. Stanton, senior Brett Jesseph, sophomores Kendall Norrod and Kyle Haas, and junior Keaton Robertson all shined Friday. And they all shined wherever they were placed.

“We got guys that can play four different positions on the defensive side of the ball,” Stanton said. “We’re super deep, and we’re a team that was built in the offseason.

“We’re not letting up.”

The Maize offense wasn’t sharp all night. Campus’ defense flew around and rallied to the ball, but senior quarterback Caleb Grill delivered a dart to senior receiver Jordan Helm at the 10. Helm spun around his defender and took it in to ice the win.

The only other scores came on a 3-yard run from junior Caden Cox early in the first quarter and a 95-yard kickoff return by junior defensive back Camden Jurgensen to start the second half.

Grill said he was frustrated throughout the game with the offense’s efficiency, but it didn’t matter with how the defense was getting after it.

“I usually go sit down on the bench and get a drink,” Grill said. “But I don’t think I sat down once all night. It was amazing to watch them work.”

Campus and Maize were billed to be among the top three teams in AVCTL I and came in as the No. 6 and No. 8 teams in the Eagle’s Top 25 from the Wichita area. But the Maize defense made a statement on Friday.

The Eagle picked Maize to finish third in AVCTL I in the preseason behind Derby and Campus. Grill said that has been motivation all season.

With the win, Maize and Derby are alone atop AVCTL I at 3-0 overall.

Coach Gary Guzman said his defense is motivated by just having fun.

“It’s a great — it’s an amazing start,” Guzman said. “I try to keep it as low-keyed as possible. We are really focused on us, but they were great tonight.”

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